How and When to Use Indicative Present Simple in Italian

After watching our lesson about the morphology of Indicative present simple (suffixes, roots, irregular verbs, ecc… ) you probably wondered… and now how and when should I use it? Well… with this lesson everything will be clear!


  • To express actions that happen in the present, in the moment we are talking (with expressions as “oggi, in questo momento, in questo periodo…“) (today, in this moment, in this period…)

          Luca ha caldo! Puoi accendere il ventilatore? (Luca is hot! Can you turn the fan on?)

          In questo momento sono le 5 di pomeriggio in Italia. (Right now it’s 5 in the afternoon in Italy)

         Oggi cucino pasta alla carbonara. (Today I’ll cook carbonara)

         Paolo non sta bene: ha la febbre. (Paolo is ill: he has a fever)

  • To indicate habits (with expressions as “ogni…, tutti i…, di…, il…“) (every…, of…, the/on…)

         Ogni mattina vado all’università in treno. (I go to university every morning by train)

         Tutti gli anni festeggiamo il Natale in famiglia. (We celebrate Christmas every year in the family)

         Il lunedì mangia sempre gli gnocchi. (He always eats gnocchi on Monday)

  • To express absolute truth, valid for everybody

         La Terra ruota intorno al Sole. (The Earth spins around the Sun)

         Febbraio è il mese più corto dell’anno. (February is the shortest of the year)

         In inverno fa molto freddo. (Winter is very cold)

  • Especially in speeches, to indicate a very close future (with expressions as “domani, stasera, più tardi, tra due giorni, dopodomani…“) (tomorrow, tonight, later, in two days, de day after tomorrow…)

          Domani pomeriggio vado dal dentista. (Tomorrow afternoon I’ll go to the dentist)

         Tra due giorni partiamo per il Brasile. (We will leave for Brazil in two days)

         Stasera io e Gianluca ci prendiamo una birra. (Gianluca and I will have a beer tonight)

  • Sometimes replaces the past to tell something, especially historical, usually to emphasize what we are saying, as if the told events took place in a close time

         La Seconda Guerra Mondiale termina nel 1945. (World War II ended in 1945)

         Dante Alighieri nasce a Firenze ma muore a Ravenna. (Dante Alighieri was born in Florence but died in Ravenna)

         Firenze è capitale del Regno d’Italia dal 1865 al 1871. (Florence was the capital of the kingdom of Italy from 1865 to 1871)

  • To express actions started in the past that continue in the present 

         Luca lavora in quell’azienda da 5 anni. (Luca ha been working in that company for five years)

         Sono due anni che studia l’inglese. (He’s been studying English for two years)

Now you’re able to use indicative present simple! So there is no problem for you telling us what you usually do in the weekend, isn’t it? ?

And then also have a look at our lesson on how to form indicative imperfect!

Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!

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